With the new school year well underway, parking passes have gone on sale. Along with the long lines to buy the parking passes, there is also a supply and demand issue. In recent years, there have been more students in need of parking than actual parking spaces.
If you have been at school then you have seen the long lines at the business office window. The line forms before school and then reforms during lunch. The parking pass line is very unorganized with people crowding as opposed to forming a line.
“I was fourth in line, but people kept grouping together with their friends and going to the front of the line,” said senior Leo Metzger.
According to the business office, 230 students have submitted parking pass requests in just these two weeks. There are two student parking lots and in both of those lots combined there are 240 parking spots. Dr. Alvarez said that the school oversells passes by about ten spots. The amount of parking spots is barely larger than the number of submitted parking request google forms as of September 13. The business office also said that last year there were 370 google form requests for parking spaces submitted, which is 154% larger than the available spaces.
According to SMHS Assistant Principal Dr. Alvarez, the parking lots have not changed in at least 30 years because the ADA(Americans with Disabilities Act) has changed the specific percentage of handicapped reserved spaces, and vehicles have become bigger causing the spaces to become fewer. Dr. Alvarez also said that the school just does not have space to add more parking.
Not only is there not enough parking, but the actual process of getting a parking pass is complicated. A student has to submit a google form with basic information, then they have to submit a picture of their license and registration. After that, they go to the business office window before school or during lunch and they bring a physical copy of their driver’s license, registration, student ID, and $40 to pay for the parking space. Finally, they can get a parking pass.
The process is so complicated that junior Gavin Sparks said, “I got there early but I was still in line for probably 20 minutes. I know people that waited well into third period because they weren’t as early.”
Overall, there is not enough parking supply at school to meet the demand. Although it is needed, getting more parking is not that simple. Where would the school find the space? The money? Could that money be better spent elsewhere? I’ll get back to you in 2 years when I’m a junior and am applying for a parking pass.